In the Internet Age
Yashwant K. Malaiya
Jainism in the Internet Age
Internet & practice of dharma
Is internet a fad?
Internet resources: available
target audience: Jains, Ajains or both?
Developing resources for internet
Is it enough to develop a good website?
Internet limitations & pitfalls
Can internet hurt spirituality?
Texts & Technologies
Oral transmission: many centuries (-10
Shruta Kevalis & Acharyas
master-to-student, among masters
Books written: talpatra/bhurjapatra/paper (-19
manuscript-to-mauscript copies by hand
Books printed: mechanical duplication (20
wide availability/ lower cost
Electronics transmission: radio/TV/recordings
Internet: universal availability (1995-)
duplication cost nearly zero
production time & cost can be minimal
All new technologies were underestimated, ignored or opposed.
Internet - stores
- processes information
Can potentially equalize large and small groups! Jain (5 Mill.), Hindus (1 Bill.), Christians (2 Bill.)
Towards Internet for Spirituality
Barna Research Group 1998:
12% adults using Internet for spirituality
16% teens expect in 5 years to use Internet as a substitute for church
Why teens use Internet:
Friendship new: 34%, existing 28%
Find music: 56%, Play games: 33%,
Buy stuff 7%
Spiritual experience 4%
Jain Internet Resources: Samples
Personal web sites
Intermediate & Special Interest
Jain Centers & organizations
Books & magazines
Mantras & Prayers
Rituals & Symbols
Jain Internet Resources: Samples
Personal websites: Present a personal testimony. Simple but powerful. We need more.
HotBot, AltaVista, Yahoo, MSN.com etc.
To search groups: http://groups.google.com/
A large collection of Jainism related links:
Principles, Tradition and Practices:
Top “Jainism” sites
Basic principles: samples
Fundamentals Of Jainism
Basics of Jainism
Essence of Jainism:
Super Sites: samples
With a large number of articles and books compiled using extensive effort.
For Children: samples
Jain Data Base
Jain Balpothi - Children's Jain Study Book www.jainism.free-online.co.uk/balpothi/
Jain Centers & Organizations
Young Jains of America: www.yja.org
Young Jains: www.youngjains.org.uk
Jain Society of Rochester members.aol.com/maaxjob314/Jain.html
Australia: malaiya.tripod.com/australia (saved from Google cache)
Books : samples
Library of congress: catalog.loc.gov
Hindi Granth: www.hindibooks.8m.com
Motilal Banarsidass: www.mlbd.com
Magazines / Images
Jain Study Circular
Jain clipart: www.cs.colostate.edu/~malaiya/jainclip.html
Mantras & Prayers: samples
Popular mantras: www.terapanth.com/popular_mantra.htm
Not enough Jain Music on the web!
Nothing to do with Jainism!
Rituals & Symbols /Calendar
Yahoo (now) Groups:
Archived at groups.google.com
Jain Sacred Books
Jain Data Base: members.nbci.com/_XMCM/book_archive/06/jaini.htm
Selected texts: www.sacred-texts.com/jai/
Creating New Web Resources
Friends of Jain (exposed to Jainism)
Level: easy, average, scholarly
Media: text, images, sounds, animation
Dynamism: static, updated, dynamic
What is needed
Web content creation
Site builder’s interests
Hosting site on server
Publicity (long term)
Do people know site exists?
Maintenance (long term)
Ministering to On-line World: 1
Be interactive, not passive.
People who have grown up with cyberspace have little experience with passive media. Don’t expect straight text or to hold anyone’s attention in the online world.
Be networked, not hierarchical.
Internet is most decentralized, antihierarchical medium ever devised. The online world will favor spiritual teachings that lack a complex hierarchy.
Think postmodern, not modern
Days of Christianity’s privileged standing have passed, church must present its truths to people more accepting of a variety of religious perspectives.
Ministering to On-line World: 2
Don’t expect passive acceptance.
In keeping with the postmodernism, people will be more likely to question authority. This questioning will empower more believers to take an active role in the church.
Be collaborative, not isolationist.
Denominational distinctions have become blurred.
Be asynchronous, not time-bound.
Online environment is unfettered by time or space. At any time and across time zones, two or more Christians can gather in a chat room and “have church.”
Positioning Your Site
General Search engines: optimization, submission
Meta tags, contents, response time (image size, server performance)
Check position: watson.addy.com
Specialized search engines/indexes
Jainism, religion, India
Get links at related sites: request, convince
Direct publicity: newsgroups, groups, selected email addresses (caution)
Beware of Internet
Not everything on the web is spiritual or knowledge oriented.
Significance of traditional centers & activates has declined.
Jain Youth are exposed to things contrary to Jain spirit: violence, non-self-control, possessiveness.
Jains are no longer living in the Jain Neighborhoods.
Extend all traditional centers/activites by using Net.
Back all web sites by human interaction.
Enhance non-textual contents:
Images, audio, video
Need for English Jain songs & Music
New approaches for instructing visitors
Broaden, broaden, broaden.
Jainam Jayati Shasanam